The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-31
Bible Study led by Jasmine, Feb 2021
The parable of the Lost Son.
What is this story about?
There was a father with two sons. One son asked for his inheritance early which was against their culture. The father agreed and gave him half of everything.
He went far away so his father would not know what he was doing. He was living a debauch life – squandering the money and of course it ran out.
It is amazing how God works – when his money ran out – there was a famine. He had no friends, no work, nothing.
He got a job looking after pigs – an animal to avoid in Jewish culture – he had hit the lowest of the low.
He came to his senses and went back to his father to beg to be forgiven and treated as a servant.
His father was waiting and longing for his return. His father ran to him. His father immediately hugged him – even though he was probably in rags and smelly and dirty. The son started to say he was not worthy, but his father interrupted him and clothed him in righteous clothes.
His father gave him a ring – like a wedding – a family thing – they were united again.
The father was getting his son ready to share the good news.
And your feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
The father had amazing mercy and compassion for his son – he wanted to do all good things for his son and bless him – he gave him everything.
The father then ordered a celebration – his son was lost but now was found!
His other son was working in the fields and was angry. Why was his father celebrating when the prodigal son had wasted everything? He had a grudge and maybe hatred in his heart. He did not want to celebrate with his father. This is like the Pharisees, they focused on works and obeying the rules. They wanted to know God but had no relationship with God.
The father pleaded with him to come in and celebrate. The father is loving to all.
This brother was left with all the responsibility and felt resentment. However, it is important to have joy in being with the father and all that he has given us.
What can we learn from this parable?
1. We should do everything with a cheerful heart and love for God.
We should serve God with joy – we are not slaves as the brother claimed.
2. God will bless your life if you obey him – understand that God has given us everything, as the father said – everything I have is yours.
Obey and do God’s will, even if it is hard and God will bless you.
3. This is a story of celebration – what was lost is found. Whenever we come to the father, he wants to forgive us. The prodigal son realised he had done things wrong – when we realise, we need to come to the father – he will forgive us – our father in heaven wants to forgive and love us.
When the son came home the father ordered the servant to kill the fatted calf – whenever someone comes home to God there will be a celebration – there will be celebration in heaven when we die. God welcomes the prodigals back in heaven.
4. This is also a story of God the father’s overwhelming love for us.
God is longing for us all to join him, looking out for us as the father was for the prodigal son.
5. While yet sinners Christ died for us… the father ran to his son even before he asked for forgiveness. God is giving us everything we do not deserve. We are saved by grace.
6. God knows our heart.
Finally remember, the Pharisees made over 600 laws – Jesus brought it back to two – love God and love everybody.
We should go out and seek others to join with God and share the good news. God wants his kingdom to grow and everybody to be with him in heaven.